Naples attracts people who are beautiful, inside and out. These wellness professionals believe in their community and are the best in their fields. We’re thrilled to introduce the Naples City Lifestyle Wellness Issue honorees for 2023. We asked these shining stars about their wellness mantras and personal style. We inquired about the challenges they are facing in their industries and took a peek into their closets. Enjoy meeting these distinguished professionals.
Owner of Jacqueline Bingham Yoga
Industry challenges: Men are missing out on a practice that will enhance their physical and mental well being. Most assume they can’t do yoga because they are “not flexible.”
They are no prerequisites. Just show up. Breathe. Move. Fall down. Get up. Have fun!
Classics: Circa 1990 Michael Jordan signed t-shirt from K-mart. As a kid I attended Michael Jordan camp at Elmhurst College the year before the Bulls first championship. I should frame it, but it’s fun to wear.
Wellness mantra: Just Show Up. Baby steps or giant leaps, always stay pointed in the direction of wellness. Also, mistakes are our true teachers. You can always begin again.
Co-owner and operator, Liquivida Naples Wellness Center
Industry challenges: Shifting our healthcare mindset from reactive to proactive and preventative. We wait until we are sick to take care of ourselves when we have the ability to be proactive and find ways to prevent illness and injury.
Naples fan: I moved to Naples in December. What attracted me to the area was the people. They are happy, friendly, relaxed and extremely welcoming.
Wellness mantra: Find strength in wellness. It is important to find an outlet and make yourself a priority. I find strength in fitness, as well as helping my body recover with IV vitamin therapy and laughing with my son, Paul.
Your daily wellness routine: My daily wellness routine consists of movement and helping our clients look and feel their best.
Darren FX Clair, MD
Medical Director of Vibrance Health
Naples fan: My wife, Birgitta Nielsen, and I are enchanted by the beautiful beaches here, especially Delnor-Wiggins (we are so glad it has reopened!). We also love the warm and friendly people that welcomed us to this community right away.
Wellness mantra: My day typically starts around 6 a.m. I begin with a gratitude meditation. After having coffee, I exercise (running, swimming in the beautiful Gulf, and/or weight training). I will have a healthy breakfast, which frequently consists of a high-quality protein shake with lots of fresh berries and vegetables. Then my “play” day begins (since I love what I do, I don’t consider it “work!”), where I consult with patients both in person and via telemedicine.
Garramone Plastic Surgery operations manager
Wellness mantra: “I am powerful, healthy, loving, and kind. Thank you for this day, as it will be divine.” My daily wellness routine is movement, motion, water and giving to others.
Classics: The oldest thing I still wear is a vintage golden pearl mink fur once worn and owned by Marilyn Monroe. Her monogrammed initials are inside on the beautiful silk lining. The fit is perfect, and it transcends glamour.
My style: My style is a more hybrid chameleon. Clothing is one of my favorite ever-changing expressions. You can find me in unexpected pieces ranging from crisp, clean, tailored looks to modern and effortless; but you might also find me in something sophisticated and sultry.
Founder/CEO of The Skin Room, USA.
Naples Fan: My favorite aspect of living in Naples is watching the city transform and grow.
Wellness mantra: My wellness routine consists of waking up early and listening to podcasts while I stretch/yoga. Sometimes I’ll get in a morning workout in before planning my day and, as always, SKINCARE!
Industry challenges: One the most challenging (and sometimes dangerous) parts of my industry is that there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet about skincare products/treatments by unlicensed individuals.
Sr. Director for Strategic Partnerships for The Partnership. Model, fitness model, spokesperson and talent agency manager.
Wellness mantra: Everything in moderation with a little cardio, weights, relaxation, and healthy eating. Allow yourself to cheat without guilt. My daily wellness routine is pretty simple: wake up, hot water with lemon, ice roll my face, collagen with my coffee, and get going. I work out before work when I can, but if not I’m there right after. My goal is to move 30 minutes a day. Even if it’s a slow walk on the beach at sunset – it resets my day and reminds me there is so much more in the world, and that the little stresses I have don’t really matter.
Industry challenges: Healthcare in general is facing a massive challenge with profitability and access. It has become increasingly challenging to find consistency and expand services to make it available for more people with less time, while keeping the costs at a minimum. The shrinking workforce is another huge challenge.
Dr. Bradley J. Engle
Industry challenges: One of the biggest challenges has been to find and establish a relationship with a result-focused Dental laboratory. Finding the right Master Ceramist is extremely difficult. In 2019, Engle Dentistry acquired Prestige Dental Arts and currently have four dental technicians on staff with two ceramists.
My style: I have enjoyed dressing business professional, always with a nice pair of shoes. Since the pandemic, it has been easier to just wear sweat pants around and be a little incognito. I will say that after meeting Tanweer at John Craig Clothier, I may start wearing some nice blazers soon.
Classics: In dental school, I had the unique opportunity to purchase a 18k gold Tag Heuer watch with employee pricing. Despite having a few unique time pieces, it’s my go-to watch and has held up almost 30 years.
Author Live Your Happy, spiritual coach and speaker, owner of Naples Wedding Woman
Naples fan: The city's stunning beaches and warm weather offer a perfect backdrop for relaxation and self-reflection. It's the perfect setting for my workshops, meditation classes and weddings I officiate. I enjoy the local food scene, with an abundance of delicious restaurants and fresh seafood available. The combination of natural beauty and cultural richness creates a unique atmosphere that feels both peaceful and energizing.
Classics: I don’t tend to hold onto clothes. I try to clean out my closet and make donations on a regular basis. But, I do own a Cartier watch that I have had since I was in my 20s. It still works great and I wear it almost every day.
Wellness mantra: "I am loving. I AM love. I am peaceful, and I AM peace. I am happy. I AM happiness.” I have built the landscape. You can go to the beach and swamp all in the same day.
Dr. Ralph Garramone
Garramone Plastic Surgery
Wellness mantra: I am laser-focused on patients. I spend 30 min every morning at 5:30 a.m. in a meditative state before I start surgery and preparing for cases for the day. Clear mind and calm, steady, expert hands.
Classics: I still wear a pair of Gucci loafers that were a gift from my mother.
Industry challenges: Our industry's challenges are misconceptions based on misinformation regarding cosmetic procedures. Always consult a professional.
Tailor Made Fitness, Soul Embodiment Coaching, Charla Goodnight Galactic Coaching
Industry challenges: Many in the fitness industry are focused on how movement will make you look. My goal is to remind clients that it is about how you feel by being fully balanced in life with movement, meditation, and what we fuel the body with. The focus is on silencing the inner critic, moving the body to release chemicals that make you feel good, and truly loving who you are in this moment. Moving our body releases the natural pharmacy that our body holds.
Naples fan: I love Naples and Collier County. It has been my home my whole life. I have seen immense change in 45 years. My favorite aspect will always be the community of people
Owner of Urban Meditation
Wellness mantra: If you don’t have time to meditate … You NEED to meditate. My routine includes starting and ending my day on my custom infrared Lava Mat.
The Naples woman: I love that the women of Naples get dressed even to go out on a Tuesday night.
Naples fan: I love blue sky, green trees, going to the beach and all the lovely restaurants in Naples, especially Fifth Avenue.
Classics: My black and gold Juicy Couture jumper. It's more than 20 years old.
Owner, ChiroQueen, a concierge chiropractic suite specializing in women’s healthcare
Industry challenges: I am all about empowering women through education. Creating collaborative relationships with physicians, nurses, midwives, surgeons and others to help identify and co-manage musculoskeletal complaints has been the biggest barrier I have faced in Florida. I know this is possible, as my other business operates very successfully within this mindset. I believe in a truly patient-centered approach where all practitioners are working collectively to improve the overall and total health of the common patient.
The Naples woman: Powerful, gorgeous, on-trend, and elegant. I am truly inspired by the thought and care women take to create the perfect and balanced outfit for any occasion. The shoes, handbag, accessories, makeup, hair and clothing are all on point.
Deborah Houk, M.D.
Board certified in Internal Medicine, currently working as a Hospitalist
Classics: A pair of blue, low top, Converse Chuck Taylors. The day I met my husband in residency, we were wearing the same shoes. His pick up line was, “Hey, I like your shoes,” and every time I wear them, I’m reminded how much the stars aligned for us!
Naples Fan: It has a small town feel, but still offers world-class amenities. It offers a high quality of life with access to outdoor activities, which is attractive to doctors like us who value work-life balance. I also love that there is so much to do for young, growing families like ours.
My style: I like to display effortless elegance that fits my vibe.
Ryan Houk, M.D.
Wellness mantra: “Motion is the Potion.” You have to keep moving and be active. I try to keep my body and brain active. Moderate exercise on the treadmill is what I like to do to keep in motion. I run about 3-6 miles whenever I have a chance.
Naples fan: I met my wife at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. It was a nice town, but too cold for our liking. Naples brings the warmth. The medical community here is different from what patients might experience in other cities. It’s a group of local doctors who are well trained, and all communicate on behalf of the patient.
Cristina Levon Aesthetics
Industry challenges: Technology and techniques are rapidly evolving. Medical grade aestheticians MUST stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and trends to provide the best possible treatments and results for their clients. This requires continuous education and training, which can be time-consuming and expensive. However, staying current with the latest techniques and products is essential for delivering the highest quality services and maintaining a competitive edge in the market.
Naples fan: The exceptional schools, welcoming community, and abundant outdoor opportunities create a high-quality of life for my kids, making Naples an ideal place for them to thrive and create lasting memories.
Classics: A beach cover up that I wore during my pregnancy with my oldest son, who is now 15 years old. It reminds me of that special time in my life.
Owner Maria Martin Beauty, a luxury beauty house call service
Classics: I have these old, pale green men's work pants, probably from the early nineties, that I found while thrifting. They fit me perfectly. They're just destroyed enough and they are my favorite pants when I need something unique.
My style: I have an unhealthy fixation on black clothing that I have been trying to shake since I moved to Naples. On a night out, you will find me in something black on top and a unique pair of pants on bottom, with a heel, gold jewelry and great makeup.
Wellness mantra: Eating wholesome, organic foods, focusing on mental health, taking walks, drinking water and enjoying an endless summer are all important parts of my wellness journey. My goal is to raise my children in a chemical, stress and anxiety-free environment.
Abby Miknaitis, D.O.
Founder/owner of Blue Concierge Medicine
Industry challenges: Due to lower insurance reimbursements and higher costs, patients now find themselves waiting weeks. I thoughtfully interview all patients who become members. I truly am able to extend care to them as my extended family. With access to their physician via cell phone and an annual membership fee rather than fee for service visits, patients are able to minimize the amount of time in the office, as profits are not generated by unnecessary visits.
Naples style: Naples has such a warm, nostalgic yet modern style of the 1960s. You can see this as you casually drive through Naples, passing the re-released 1960s mini Mokes, vibrant hues and the people strolling down 5th Ave in bold accessories and statement prints - all setting the tone of the mid-century modern era.
Dr. Alik Minikhanov
Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture Physician
I Am Designed to Heal, Concierge Holistic Medicine Clinic
Industry challenges: Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is often misunderstood as a competing system to western healthcare. This is not only untrue, but is supported by the latest published medical research as providing the greatest health benefits when fully integrated into an individual’s wellness routine.
Classics: A vintage Tibetan shirt that was gifted by a Buddhist monk who is a dear friend and client.
Wellness mantra: Consistency and moderation in all things. I practice Qi Gong and Tibetan yoga daily. I walk daily, either in my neighborhood or on the beach. You can also find me in the labyrinth at the Naples Botanic Garden performing a silent, walking meditation. I enjoy a clean diet, while offering myself the opportunity for a bit of fun here and there.
Duke Pfitzinger. D.O.
Vascular Center of Naples
Naples style: Naples has an upscale fashion style, which I do appreciate. It's nice to go out around town and see well-dressed, well put together people enjoying all that Naples has to offer. I think that while it is upscale in its fashion sense, it's not over the top or too extreme. It's laid-back, yet upscale style.
Industry challenges: To continue to provide the best care and treatment to the aging population. As their medical needs and complexities increase, we're also seeing overall rising costs of practicing medicine, along with staff shortages. These challenges continue to make physicians' daily ability to provide the best care for our patients more difficult.
Wellness mantra: Take care of myself now, while I'm still young enough to make an impact.
Owner & CEO of KayKon LLC, Functional medicine services
Industry challenges: More people are suffering with chronic illness and the conventional medical system tends to focus on just managing symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners take a different "whole body" approach and look to determine the root cause of issues, so they can be addressed and the body can be re-balanced.
My style: I'd say smart-casual with a mix of boho and beach bum.
Wellness mantra: Listen to your body and be open to make lifestyle changes! I start the day with breathing exercises, followed by an adrenal cocktail to get essential minerals and hydration. Then I hit the gym, followed by a light breakfast and I'm ready to go!
John Craig Clothier
1258 3rd Street
494 5th St, S